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AR 2012 : The Global Economic Crisis and Canada: Perception Versus Reality


When Mar 23, 2012 - Mar 23, 2012
Where Ryerson University
Submission Deadline Jan 15, 2012
Categories    sociology   political economy   canadian studies   public policy

Call For Papers

Alternate Routes: A Journal of Critical Social Research

Edited by Carlo Fanelli (Carleton University) & Bryan Evans (Ryerson University)

The Global Economic Crisis and Canada: Perception Versus Reality

Conference & Journal Call For Papers

It is now broadly recognized that the global economic crisis that struck in late 2007 is by far the most significant and wide-ranging since the Depression years of the 1930s. While there have been signs of tepid recovery over the last five years, the International Monetary Fund has recently warned that "[t]he global economy is in a dangerous new phase. Global activity has weakened and become more uneven, confidence has fallen sharply recently, and downside risks are growing...Thus, the structural problems facing recession-hit economies have proven more intractable than expected, and the process of devising and implementing reforms more complicated." Given fears of an ongoing recession, particularly as a result of Europe's sovereign debt crisis and a record level U.S. budget deficit, the global recession that struck in 2007 is by no means over.

In Canada, however, the economic downturn has been shorter and milder than many of its G7 counterparts. In fact, according to Statistics Canada, while the Canadian economy began contracting in the fourth quarter of 2008 by the third quarter of 2009 the recession had already passed. Indeed, the Great Recession is allegedly no greater than previous slumps such as those in the early 1980s and 1990s as measured by job losses, home sales, bankruptcies, credit availability and consumer spending. But numbers rarely, if ever, tell the whole story. Federal, provincial and local governments across the country, regardless of political stripes, are turning to a range of austerity measures that will erode public services and the quality of public sector employment. It is also being demanded that private sector workers take pay and benefit cuts. Alternate Routes is seeking contributions that go beyond the rhetoric of recession versus recovery as measured by narrowly economistic factors. We are seeking papers that chart the full affects of the global economic crisis and its implications for Canada. In what ways has international instability affected Canada? To what extent are such features structurally-induced, the product of contemporary circumstances, the result of specific policies of particular administrations, or some combination of other factors? What are the characteristics, politics, and forms of resistance to Canadian versions of austerity? What new challenges and opportunities have been created? How should progressives respond? We are seeking papers that address, but are not limited to the following:

• How have public services (e.g. health care, education, pensions) been affected?
• Has economic volatility led to political instability, or new political alignments?
• To what extend has the downturn varied across age, ability, ethnicity, race, gender, etc?
• In what ways has the nature and quality of work and labour changed?
• How has the Canadian recession differed across regional and industrial lines?
• How have public/private sector unions and civil society groups been affected and responded?
• Has poverty and inequality increased?

If interested in presenting your research at Alternate Routes' conference to be held at Ryerson University (Toronto, Canada) on Friday March 23rd 2012, please send an abstract of no more than 300 words and brief bibliography to by January 15th 2012. Responses will be sent by the end of January. Accepted submissions may be solicited for publication in our 2013 issue.

If you are unable to participate in our upcoming conference, but would still like to have your article considered for publication in our 2013 issue, please see for submission guidelines. Articles must be submitted by April 31st 2012 to

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